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A Pediatric Perspective

Sensory Play - Clean Mud!

Published May 4, 2010 9:29 AM by Wendy Hof

I can remember as a child how much fun it would be to go out and play in the mud.  Now mind you, I was a big tom-boy and loved getting dirty and climbing trees and making mud pies.  We were very fortunate growing up because our Nana, who watched us while our parents worked, didn't mind if we got dirty. My sister and I would be out there with dishes and spoons and mud!  We'd make all sorts of "dishes" and creations.  It was fun!  A really great sensory experience, though back then it wasn't so much looked at as "sensory" as it was "being a kid". :)

Today there are very few parents who allow their kids to go out and play in mud (yes, I know there are a few of you out there who do and kudos!!! to you).  A couple weeks ago one of the teachers I work with asked me if I wanted to try some "clean mud" with one of the kiddos we see together who has sensory issues.  "Clean mud"??  Never heard of it ...  but I'm always game to try something new.. besides if it had anything to do with "mud" it had to be a fun sensory experience! 

At our visit that week the teacher brought along the ingredients (toilet paper, soap, water) and we made it together with our kiddo and, although she was hesitant at first, by the end of the session she was really getting into it.  I was surprised at how much these three simple household items, when mixed together, actually felt just like mud!  And the best part was that instead of ending the session all dirty and needing to be cleaned off we were clean and the mess was really minimal.  What was even better is the "mud" could be placed in a sealed container/zip lock bag and used over and over again.

The recipe is really simple.

1) Take several sections of toilet paper and place them into a dish or container that will allow everyone participating to be able to get their hands into it and play with it/explore it.

2) Mix in soap (either shavings from a bar of soap or about 1/8 cup of hand soap)

3) add enough water to moisten everything to the consistency of mud

4) mix it up together with your hands

5) have fun!!!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!  Did you enjoy it.  Did the kids you were working with enjoy it?  It's very easy to make and clean up and a great, clean sensory activity for a rainy day.  Do you have any fun sensory play ideas you've used and found to be successful (or even ones you've tried that have not worked out well)?  I would love to hear about them.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you back here again.



Tissue paper might work but becareful to only use the white tissue paper.  My concern would be that the colour in tissue paper often "bleeds" when wet and you may end up with very colorful kids! :)

Let me know how it goes.  I would love to hear if you tried the toilet paper and if you were able to get beyond your own sensory "gagging".  It's funny how so many of us do have our own sensory challenges to get through too.

Good luck!  Let me know how things go.

Wendy Hof November 26, 2010 8:41 AM

I too as a child loved to play in the mud, also being a tom boy. My parents encouraged us to play in the mud.

I do have to say although the clean mud sounds great I am skeptical of the wet toilet paper feeling. I actually gag when I touch it. I am very curious how it feels just like mud. I would love to try it since I work in a self contained classroom and all of the children on my case load have sensory diets, most could benefit from something so sensory based. I guess I could just wear gloves and try not to think about the toilet paper part. Do you think you would get the same effect from tissue paper? I may be able to tolerate that.

Angela Tomaro, Peds - COTA, Pre-School November 5, 2010 11:00 PM
Troy NY

very nice mam

pritpal singh May 12, 2010 10:07 AM

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